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Family Service Agency buying former Associated Bank building

DeKALB – Family Service Agency is adding some new programming – and a larger space in which to fit it.

FSA, which serves the county with its Children Advocacy Center, Youth Mentoring (formerly known as Big Brothers, Big Sisters), Center for Counseling and Senior Services, is buying the former Associated Bank building at 1325 Sycamore Road, Executive Director Tynisha Clegg said.

The two-story building’s top floor is occupied by Walsh & Associates Ltd., Church of God Education Center, Rosenow-Franzene Development Inc. and the law office of Brian T. Rosenow.

The site is listed by American Realty, and the listed agent is Alison Rosenow, Clegg said the hope is to close on the property by mid-July.

“We really need some additional space,” Clegg said. “As our programs are growing, we’re running out of space.”

Although she conceded that the agency’s current location, at 14 Health Services Drive near the corner of Sycamore and Bethany roads, has been ideal, other factors dominated the decision.

The current building, built in the 1970s and added onto in the early ’90s, is about 9,000 square feet, and has been breaking down of late.

Clegg said the agency has spent money on fixing leaks in the roof, as well as an elevator lift – which still isn’t reliable after the repairs.

“The issues have exceeded what we’d like to spend on regular maintenance,” Clegg said. “If we can move a mile or 2 down the road and be better stewards, in terms of fiscal responsibility, we need to do that.”

The new site, built less than
30 years ago, Clegg said, is 14,000 square feet – space desperately needed by the agency as it prepares to roll out such initiatives as a new senior connections program and a one-on-one program similar to Youth Mentoring that the agency has piloted.

“It was extremely successful,” Clegg said. “Some of the elderly members of our community can benefit from some counseling, but some are just lonely.”

Clegg said the new space will allow the agency to expand its counseling offerings beyond the current limitation of six to seven clients an hour.

FSA will work with a local architect to get a quote on needed renovations, and then will reach out to contractors for bidding.

“We’d love to be in the new space by winter,” Clegg said. “That would be the best-case scenario, of course.”

She said that FSA is forming a capital funding committee which will help develop and organize fundraisers to help pay for the renovations.

Also, for those who use the Associated Bank ATM, Clegg said it’s her understanding it will continue to operate.